So, taking hot showers during the winter is one of the most wonderful things in the world. And yes, I recognize that it takes a tremendous amount of energy to heat that water before it hits me, warms me, and makes me feel so extremely happy.
But then that water hits the tub, and runs down into the sewer, and you want to know something funny...that water is still very hot. All of the energy to heat ALL that water, and it's only used for a few seconds before it's washed (still nice and warm) down the drain.
The EcoDrain takes this previously wasted energy and captures it, taking the load off of your hot water heater. Indeed, when used optimally it can reduce hot water heater use 40%. That is a huge amount of your daily energy use, and a huge amount of America's energy use.
The EcoDrain is simply a heat exchanger that plugs into your shower drain. Clean, cold water circulates around the hot water leaving the shower and by the time the cold water leaves the EcoDrain, it's luke warm. That water is then what comes out when the "cold" knob is turned. By mixing that with the hot water from your hot water heater, suddenly you're cranking the "hot" knob half as much as you used to.
The dirty water never comes in contact with the clean water, but the temperature of the clean water is increased significantly.
According to EcoDrain, installation is fairly simple. Though, as far as I can tell, plumbing is never really simple. Unfortunately, old building codes represent an obstacle for EcoDrain. Apparently these devices need to be approved in every new market they enter, and that has been something of a hurdle.
Nevertheless, if all of America was using EcoDrains, we'd be saving billions of dollars of energy...it seems like this device's time has come.
written by L. Weber, March 23, 2009
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